25 May, 2024

And breathe….survey finds that over half of tobacco smokers who switched to vaping found being healthier the biggest benefit of quitting

Habits can be hard to break. And one of the most notoriously tough is smoking. Whether it’s with the help of patches, gum, the Allen Carr method (no, not the comedian) or simply trying to go cold turkey, often the hold that smoking has got on an addict is significant. When vaping came into the mainstream around 2006, it was ultimately seen as a great stepping stone for smokers to cut down on their unhealthy habit; a healthier, safer way of ingesting nicotine as vaping devices use fewer toxic chemicals (as a comparison, there are around 7,000 chemicals in the average regular tobacco cigarette), and the liquid used doesn’t leave any residue, such as tar, in the lungs.

Vaping site GoSmokeFree.co.uk carried out a study of 1,100 respondents to find out what those who used to smoke tobacco, and who switched to vaping, have found to be the biggest benefit of quitting. Over half (42%) said they felt healthier, most likely thanks to the reasons outlined above. In addition, by no longer smoking tobacco, vaping can help reduce blood pressure, improve immunity, ease breathing and make lungs function normally.

The second best benefit former smokers found was that it was safer; 1 in 5 believed that it was less dangerous than the risks of leaving a lit cigarette lying around. A vaping device has no fire associated with it; it runs off a battery, and doesn’t need to be ignited with a flame. 1 in 4 found it to be cheaper; smokers have seen the price of a packet of cigarettes creep up over the years in the UK, and currently, it stands at around £13.80; pretty steep, you’d probably agree. It would take a significant difference in price to lure smokers over to vaping, you might think.

GoSmokeFree.co.uk also wanted to find out what people thought a vaping device cost, and on average, they quoted £32. In fact, a basic vaping starter kit can cost as little as £3.99. Okay, so it might not last more than a few weeks – although some devices can last up to 6 or 7 months – but it will work out cheaper than getting through a packet (or more) of cigarettes per day, which can only be a good thing.

Another 8% found they liked the variety that comes with vaping; you can choose from different sizes and styles of e-cigarette device. Some are cigarette or pen-shaped – i.e. long and tubular – while others are described as ‘pods’, and look more like a short, flat USB stick, and there are also some known as ‘mods’, which are larger than the others, with a refillable tank, longer lasting rechargeable batteries, and variable power.

And then there are the flavours…forget boring old tobacco, there are a host of weird and wonderful flavours out there. Admittedly, at the start these were fairly basic, and mainly fruit-related; think apple, strawberry or raspberry, as well as classic menthol. Today, you can find practically any flavour you like; Gosmokefree.co.uk for example, offers dozens, which sound like a sweet shop’s dream: who wouldn’t want to taste the likes of jelly babies, jam doughnut, Devon fudge or caramel? You could also have cherry cola, pink lemonade, choc mint, banoffee pie, coconut, and many, many more…

Despite the majority of these sounding incredibly, cloyingly sweet (although they don’t come with the calories, thankfully), GoSmokeFree.co.uk also asked which of the following not-yet-available, more savoury flavours people would most like to try, and got some surprising, and amusing, results.

Perhaps most unusually, a whopping 14% would love to recreate the comforting tea-time flavour of buttery, corn on the cob. 13% want to feel sophisticated with the taste of pear and blue cheese (admittedly a combo that sounds repulsive, but in real life tastes great). Asian-influenced pickled mango sounded good – perhaps refreshing – to 30% of people, while 1 in 5 decided that Bourbon and corn flakes – surely the breakfast of champions – could be a winner. Thirteen per cent are either very brave or very foolish, in wanting to try ghost pepper flavour. In case you’re not familiar with this, it’s a type of chilli – one of the world’s hottest in fact, rated at more than 1 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) – trust us, that’s not something you’d really want to experience inhaling! It definitely doesn’t sound like it would offer the soothing effect that vaping normally does… Lastly, 10% would try lobster flavour!


Claire James


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